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Back In Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

Back In BlackBack In Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,635 Ratings
THE BROS
72
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1635
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.86%


Brewed by:
21st Amendment Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies around 7%.
65 IBU

(Beer added by: tpd975 on 11-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 635 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TaylorK
TaylorK

Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a can of this from Kroger while I was over in Columbus for a beer festival. Picked up another from the same brewery and a mixed set. I've been enjoying craft brews for some time, but the canned craft isn't something I've encountered much. Still getting used to seeing that.

A: Poured this into a pint glass and it made a decent head. The beer itself is dark, but not quite as much as the marketing and packaging made me think it might be.

S: The piney hop smell is definitely dominant on the front.

T: I think one of the biggest elements here is first a very refreshing pine, but then it moves quickly into resin-y flavor that comes out ever stronger as the beer warms. This is isn't horrible, but I wasn't a big fan of the taste. To me, this is the core component, and I was disappointed with the Back in Black.

It's not a strong hop flavor, but I don't think there's much else there either. Maybe a little bit of sweet.

M: Nothing to complain about here. The feel is smooth and easy to drink.

O: This is a decent beer, but I doubt I will be picking up anymore. If it was available, I'd drink it. I'd even recommend it to a friend. This one just isn't for me.

Serving type: can

01-13-2013 23:21:58 | More by TaylorK
Photo of caseyscarb
caseyscarb


2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Back in Black - 21st Amendment Brewery

I grabbed a growlette of this tonight- being an IPA lover this beer sounded pretty intriguing, it is however my 1st "Black IPA".

In to a pint glass it goes.

It is a dark hazel brown color, though fairly clarified, and a decent amount of carbonation producing slightly more head then I was expecting.

On the nose I initially get a piney hop and semi sweetness followed by a light roasted malt and coffee. As I continue to smell I even get some cocoa nibs.

While I'm pleased with the smell, it does not carry through very well to the taste-
It's a bit watery, and an initial sweetness is then bombarded by carbonation in the mid and finishes very bitter.

There are some really nice nuances in the flavors, but it doesn't tie together well as a whole.

When I envisioned a Black IPA, this is nowhere near what came to mind.

But to be fair, it has a tasty quality to it, but it's definitely nothing too special.

Serving type: growler

01-07-2013 10:14:07 | More by caseyscarb
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Picked up a can from the Root Cellar in Cincinnati. Poured from can into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Very dark brown to black, and nearly opaque unless held to the light. Minimal visible carbonation, and a half-finger's worth of off-white head.

S: Dark cacao, pine hops, a bit of coffee. Overall impression is of sweetness.

T: Follows, but more coffee malt than the nose, and only a moderate amount of hops - pine and a bit of citrus rind in profile.

M: Medium body, low carbonation sensation, and a mild alcohol presence.

O: Not great...I'm a little disappointed. It was canned five months ago, so not at the peak of freshness. Still though - not particularly old, and not particularly good.

Serving type: can

01-07-2013 05:38:19 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of patpbr
patpbr

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

21st Amendment Black Ale is black in color like the name states. The smell is malt and some citrus. A roast malt character smokey and coffee. Then it finishes like an an IPA with a bitter and lingering feel. This is an interesting brew. Its well worth a try.

Serving type: can

12-06-2012 00:58:08 | More by patpbr
Photo of fauxpunker
fauxpunker


3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can. Pours near black with off-white head. Clean and bright. First experience with a black IPA. Not sure what to think. It’s not bad, but not what I was expecting either. Hops and malt both strong in the aroma, but the malt wins (a bit roasty) out in the flavor. Easy to drink, slightly bitter finish. Glad for the experience and likely to give 21st Amendment another look.

Review posted at Ratebeer originally.

Serving type: can

11-23-2012 20:38:23 | More by fauxpunker
Photo of One_Man_Gang
One_Man_Gang


4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at 2 Stones Pub in Newark, DE. this is a great brew.

the color is black, with a good solid 2 inch head that laces nicely

the smell is somewhat smokey, with chocolate and/or coffee hints, and a nice hop aroma

taste is everything i would want in this style, it starts like a stout and finishes like an IPA. has a chocolate, smokey taste to start as well as a piney, bitter finish.

overall i really enjoy this one. i have since found it in cans, and when poured into a glass, it is very good that way as well.
another solid offering from 21st Amendment!

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 19:41:37 | More by One_Man_Gang
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, nearly black pour with a two finger beige head with good retention and great lacing. The nose was a bit subdued for the style. Roasty up front with hints of black licorice, mocha, and soy sauce with a touch of citrus and pine emerging as well as a touch of smoke. The taste is a bit more bold with roasty coffee and chocolate complemented nicely with citrusy, piney hop notes with some cola on the finish. The mouthfeel is a tad bit fizzy and a little thin, but has a nice finish. Overall a solid Black IPA, but not quite up there with Sublimely. Very sessionable though...

Serving type: can

11-19-2012 15:50:00 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of bensbeers
bensbeers

Maryland

4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Golden West in Baltimore. Appearance was nothing special. Must not have gotten a good pour out of the tap because I had no head at all. Color was a dark dark brown with hints of red around the edges. Slightest touch of caramel colored suds on the top. Looks like a stout but definitely drinks like an IPA. Lots of rich scents on the nose - coffee, buttercream, chocolate, and a touch of smoke. The taste closely mimics the nose - definitely can taste the hops. Not citrusy but robust which gives me the impression that they are extremely well-balanced with the grains. Malty character but not too sweet - toasty and roasty. Dark flavors - bittersweet chocolate and toast with a hint of strong coffee at the finish. Mouthfeel was extremely pleasant. Not too crisp but not as flat as other dark beers can be. Overall an extemely tasty beer. Great take on the black IPA , but this is certainly open to interpretation - some my call it a stout m, some a brown ale. A great beer to kick off a session and enjoy when the weather is turning from cold to colder. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 03:07:52 | More by bensbeers
Photo of DocJitsu
DocJitsu

California

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a huge, fluffy dark taupe head. Average head retention. Cola-ruby glints are noted around the bottom edges. Aroma is characterized by chocolate, roasted malt, and cherry. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout style, but they call this a black IPA, in which case it is more true to style. Carbonation is a bit on the low average side. Very mild flavors, given the appearance, of chocolate covered cherries and some coffee acidity late. There's a mild sweetness throughout. Some of its hop character expresses itself about midway. It still drinks a bit more like an English stout. The 65 IBUs likely put it in an IPA category. Otherwise, it should be in an English stout category.

Serving type: can

10-27-2012 06:10:44 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of PatDugan
PatDugan

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a pretty big fan of 21st Amendment in general but Back in Black is one of my favorite beers they put out. Black as night is a pretty adept description of the color this beer takes when poured into a glass. The taste is both smoky and bold, and the high ABV will have you feeling these pretty quickly. Highly recommend.

Serving type: can

10-09-2012 02:45:01 | More by PatDugan
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. can served in a FFF Teku glass. Canned on 04/24/12. Thanks to danielnovak3 for the extra.

A: Pours a solid black color with some dark ruby edges. A light tan head forms on the pour and recedes to a nice bubble collar. It leaves some splotchy sheets of lace behind.

S: Some stale coffee, a little acrid in nature, with some dark chocolate malts and a little piney bite to it.

T: Some roasted malts with a bitter, hoppy bite to it. The finish is some stale coffee with some pale malts.

M: Medium bodied with a bitter, acrid bite to it. A little sharp with some medium carbonation.

O: This just tastes old. The hops have faded, the malt feel a bit plain and the coffee notes are stale.

Serving type: can

10-07-2012 18:26:33 | More by Treebs
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1541st Review on BA
Can to FW Snifter
12oz

Canned 5/07/12
Purchased from Total Wine & More, Sacramento, CA for $1.99

App- This was a very dark brown. Had a very good density in the glass. With the head it had a creamy looking guinness appeal to it. A semi decent amount of cling.

Smell- Wasnt a whole lot of aromatics on this one. What I did pick up on though was a small bit of a flat cola, dense malts, old coffee & citrusy grassy hops. While these are nice aromatics, they didnt really mesh well

Taste- Its a semi good Black IPA. Had all the requisite flavors but just didnt wow me. Lacking a bit of balance and pop. Was really only about a middle tier beer. Most of the flavors came from the malty chocolate powder.

Mouth- A lighter medium body almost a light body. Didnt fit the profile really but was still quite pleasant. The carbonation was pretty spot on and retained a medium carbonation. A bit smooth vs. prickly as well

Drink- Tasty, but not in the top tier yet of the black IPAs. Glad I got a single can because I dont think I want 6 cans and because I cant get this in So. Cal.

Serving type: can

10-03-2012 14:46:33 | More by FosterJM
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz can poured into a tulip glass

A- Black in the can with red around the edges. A one finger off tan head.

S- The nose is extremely hoppy. The hop profile in mine is quite aged, I can tell mine isnt too fresh. There is some pineapple, overly ripened fruits. I can smell the carafa malts and some caramel.

T- There is a slight bitterness up front followed up by a roasted malt. I get a bit of the carafa malt as well. The hop flavor is not as strong as I would like, there is a slight grapefruit. The hop profile in my beer has definitely faded with age.

M- This is a good sized beer and has a nice feel to it. Its sticky and only a little bitter. Cleanish finish.

O- This beer is only ok, I can tell mine isn't fresh and I think that may have a lot to do with it

Serving type: can

09-20-2012 22:11:08 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of mgironta
mgironta

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured with a two finger fluffy tan head. It looks almost exactly like a stout. The body was a dark brown, almost black. As a result, there is no visible carbonation. The head takes awhile to dissipate and leaves significant lacing on the glass. The nose has a hint of smoke or toastiness (maybe a little nuttiness?) and some hops. This is different from a normal IPA. There is definite hoppy bitterness on the taste, but there is almost a roasted nutty taste to it. This isn’t what I expected at all, but then again, I never had a black IPA. The finish lingers with a lot of nuttiness, moreso than the hops. I would have this again, probably after I had another black IPA to compare it to.

Serving type: can

09-16-2012 22:53:19 | More by mgironta
Photo of hellhammermario
hellhammermario

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Mother Earth tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured very smoothly, looked very similar to the appearance of a Coca-Cola. Very dark, but you can see some ruby colors towards the bottom when put to a light. Very nice tan/khaki head which dissipates quickly. Not much lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, darker chocolates, black coffee aromas. You get just a pinch of floral hops, but the smell is definitely more malty than hoppy.

Taste: Plays off of the smell pretty well; you get a little more hop bitterness in the taste, but you still get the abundance of coffee and dark chocolate. Some caramel notes thrown in as well, enriching the malty flavor of the beer. Medium to light bodied, very easy to drink.

Overall: Personally, I could see this being a good session beer. While dark in nature, it is not heavy whatsoever, and malts/hops accentuate each other very well. Nothing too fancy, but definitely worth a shot!

Serving type: can

09-15-2012 23:56:09 | More by hellhammermario
Photo of mpedara429
mpedara429

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark in color, hence why they call it a "black" IPA. Somehow, it actually seemed a little bit lighter and browner than most other black IPAs. A very thin layer of head formed after pouring that was light brown in color. A very small amount of lacing stuck to the glass and was consistent the whole way through.

S: Very sweet and malty. There is a hint of citrus and piney hops too. It smells very much like a homebrew wort.

T: A strong reflection of its smell. It is very malty with a hoppy finish. The IPA part of the beer is really struggling to show itself. The malt portion has got a burnished/roasty taste to it.

M: Medium/Low carbonation over a medium body. Goes down pretty clean with little aftertaste.

O: I was happy to try this as black IPAs seem to be a bit hard to find in my area. This one had a very prominent malt taste to it. Overall, it was good, but average in every aspect. This would be good as a beginners black IPA.

Serving type: can

09-14-2012 00:38:07 | More by mpedara429
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampling a cellar temp glass poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep cola brown with fluffy tan head of 3 cm foaming up and reaching the top my glass before receding to a sturdy edge layer.
Aroma is rich and surprisingly malty. black ipa? where are the hops? I get some chocolate and maybe abit of herbal tea leaf scent, but certainly not the nose I anticipated.
First sip reveals an average body and fine tingly carbonation that is actually pretty gentle across the palate.

Flavor is caramel and toffee with bits of chocolate. I do get a little bit of astringent hops on the finish that dries out my mouth. Lingering bitterness as well.

The beer is very easy to drink, but the aroma is misleading to disappointing with lack of hops.
Probably wouldnt chase this one down again.

Serving type: can

09-08-2012 03:28:29 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of brianwakeforestnc
brianwakeforestnc


3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.
A) Dark brown hinting on black, with deep ruby glow when held up to the light. Full inch and a half of head from a vigorous pour. Lace that persists throughout.
S) Weakest part for me. The smell is so slight, hint of bitterness. hops, burnt malt. I had to really stick my nose deep in the glass to get a good whiff.
T) Really a very satisfying and pleasant brew. Drink-ability is the name of this game. Nothing outstanding or life changing but whats there is held in a nice balance. A satisfying bitterness and wet hop smell followed by roasted verging on burnt maltiness. The bitterness persists in the finish, reminds me of cold espresso without the mouth puckering aspect, as if it was cold brewed. I could drink several of these and not get sick of them. Highly sessionable with more then a little going on to keep you interested. Hint of creaminess on the end.
M) Medium bodied, lactose quality that fills the mouth. Pleasant but not requiring too much thought.
O) I would definitely drink this again as it was enjoyable without requiring too much thought and sometimes that's exactly what I want. However it cost ten bucks a six pack, and at that price I want something earth shattering, and that this is not. But if you threw a can at me, I would gratefully drink it.

Serving type: can

09-06-2012 03:22:50 | More by brianwakeforestnc
Photo of VeganBrewz
VeganBrewz

Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this one during my last trip to the local liquor store. Not my first experience with a Black Ale/Black IPA, but definetly memorable. Let's get into it, shall we?

Glassware: Pint glass.

A: Pours very nicely. Two fat fingers of silky, light-tan head tops a beer the color of rich dark chocolate. Lacing is good - not too heavy, but consistent.

S: Immediately aromatic. Slightly alcoholic, with a ton of really complex, warm spices. To be honest, there's so much going on in this beer that it was tough for my still-learning palate to pick out specifics, but I definetly got a solid whiff of caramel malt & coffee, accompanied by orange, cloves, ginger, and resinous piney, hoppy notes overtop. Very nice.

T: Very closely mimics the nose - bright, lively spices backed with slightly sweet roastyness and coffee. Some alcohol, but not enough to distract from the other flavors.

M: Nice and smooth - a little chewy, but definetly not heavy at all. Finishes clean.

O: Me likey. Solid & complex without being complicated or straying from the style.

Serving type: can

09-06-2012 01:26:37 | More by VeganBrewz
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Back in Black pours a deep brown color with two fingers of mocha head. The aroma is excellent, it's got a big amount of piney hops over roasted malts. The taste follows the nose, striking the formula for a black IPA right on the nose. Piney hops, roasty malts, that's all you need. The mouthfeel is lighter and well-carbonated, and the drinkability is great. It's not particularly jaw-dropping, but a perfectly tasty beer. It gets the balance just right.

Serving type: can

09-05-2012 02:05:38 | More by shand
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a coffee color capped by a very impressive head that grows craggy but sticks a lot of lacing around

Smell: There is a piney, floral character but the malts dominate, bringing black bread and ash

Taste: Black bread, up front, bringing char and roast; by mid-palate, a bit of pine develops and, while it lingers into the finish, the malty muddle dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Without a strong hop profile, this beer doesn't come near what I am looking for in an ABA, particularly since I didn't particularly like the indistinctly flavored malt bill, either

Serving type: can

08-30-2012 22:38:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep black brown body with red brown highlights. Nice bone white head. Fine bubbles. Nice lace and great retention.

S - Soft pine, light roast, and sweet chocolate.

T - Herbal hops over coffee and a nice roast grain. Slow ramp-up of bitter chocolate before a shock of woody hops in the center. Malty finish.

M - Medium/light body

O - Low end of the hop spectrum for the style, but still a great offering.

Serving type: can

08-26-2012 20:11:44 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Thin khaki head with minimal retention. Spotty lacing. Mahogany color with no clarity.

S- Hoppy but with malty sweetness, seems like a porter. Interesting.

T- Strange chocolate flavors. Roasted malts, bitter hops and a kind of milkiness.

M- Creamy and dry. Unique to black IPAs I've tasted.

O- I like this beer less and less the more I have it.

Serving type: can

08-26-2012 19:33:58 | More by Murrhey
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Completely opaque very dark brown with a tan head that dissipated quickly but leaves a bubbly film on top.

Aroma: Smells just like their regular IPA (which isn't exactly a good thing in this case). Sickly sweet hops and caramel malt.

Taste: Like a maltier version of their IPA. Specifically roasted malt characteristics. Dark chocolate is the most prevalent. There is a nice bitterness from the chocolate flavor that kills the hop sweetness in a pleasing way. Really enjoying the dark chocolate aftertaste. Almost some coffee-like bitterness on the end. Definitely tastes much better than it smells. The hops are there, but restrained from diluting the roasty taste. It's like an over-hopped Porter.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied. Slightly above average drinkability. The bitter chocolate aftertaste gets slightly cloying about halfway through, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Final Thoughts: An upgrade from their IPA, but could use some work in the hop department. Either use some different kinds or tone it down and just make a great Porter. It seemed like every time I took a sip the sweet aroma stopped me from completely enjoying it. It's pretty good, above average.

Serving type: can

08-26-2012 05:51:21 | More by JamesMN
Photo of Ilafan
Ilafan

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mix of bitter and a slightly bread or chocolate taste. It pours dark, but not black, is medium in feel, and leaves a decent, lasting lattice. It tastes like a session beer, but the low alcohol content leads to quicker enjoyment. I like the roasted taste of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2012 21:34:47 | More by Ilafan
Back In Black from 21st Amendment Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.